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Gerhard Plankensteiner

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 0
Bronze 1
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full nameGerhard•Plankensteiner
Used nameGerhard•Plankensteiner
Born8 April 1971 in Vipiteno, Bolzano-Bozen (ITA)
Measurements189 cm / 96 kg
AffiliationsG.S. Forestale, Roma (ITA)
NOC Italy

Biography

Gerhard Plankensteiner began international racing in 1986, competing in various youth categories in singles, winning one gold at the Junior World Championships. On the senior level he made his début in the World Cup in the 1989-90 season, winning his first podium in singles in February 1990 and the first of a total of five victories in doubles in January 1995. In the overall standings of the World Cup Plankensteiner was ranked second in doubles in 1997. He took part in five editions of the Winter Olympics making his début in singles in Albertville in 1992. His other four appearances were all in doubles, highlighted by the bronze medal in Torino in 2006 together with Oswald Haselrieder. He finished his career when Haselrieder was seriously injured in March 2010.

Winning the Olympic bronze medalist in Torino was overshadowed in Italy due to an incident that occurred immediately after the race. Plankensteiner, when asked by a journalist whether in case of victory he would have sung the national anthem replied: “I do not know that song”, thus triggering a controversy in the national press and the political world. Almost immediately, Plankensteiner, a German native speaker, gave his version of events. He declared that he had misunderstood the question because of the emotion of the moment and because he did not speak the Italian language well, not having understood that the Mameli anthem was just another way of referring to the national anthem of the Italian Republic.

At the World Championships Plankensteiner won four bronze medals in doubles and team, and two golds, the gold medals coming in 1989, at age 17 in the team event, and in doubles in 2009. He also received a silver medal and five bronze medals at the European Championships and won four Italian national titles, all in doubles.

In 2006 Plankensteiner was appointed as a member of the Knight of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic. He married Susi Erdmann, a five-time Olympian and triple medalist in luge and bobsleigh events. He later worked as a forest policeman and the couple settled in Rasun-Anterselva.

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1992 Winter Olympics Luge ITA Gerhard Plankensteiner
Singles, Men (Olympic) 11
1998 Winter Olympics Luge ITA Gerhard Plankensteiner
Doubles, Open (Olympic) Oswald Haselrieder 6
2002 Winter Olympics Luge ITA Gerhard Plankensteiner
Doubles, Open (Olympic) Oswald Haselrieder 7
2006 Winter Olympics Luge ITA Gerhard Plankensteiner
Doubles, Open (Olympic) Oswald Haselrieder 3 Bronze
2010 Winter Olympics Luge ITA Gerhard Plankensteiner
Doubles, Open (Olympic) Oswald Haselrieder 9

Olympic family relations

Special Notes